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The Shocking Appoinment of Robert McBride

31 January 2014, 06:53

Controversial Robert McBride Gets the IPID. Of all the many bad ANC appointments, the cadre deployment of Robert McBride to being the head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is one of the worst. The SAPS continues to slide and with it so does South Africa. At moments such as these i battle to see a future for our country. In contrast, Zuma loyal, Marius Fransman, the ANC's Western Cape chairman, hailed McBride as "a hero, patriot and committed civil servant to the people of South Africa". Very disturbing start to South Africa's weekend!

Wikipedia: "Most well known was his leadership of the cell that bombed the "Why Not" Restaurant and Magoo's Bar in Durban on 14 June 1986, an attack in which three white women were killed and 69 people injured. He was captured and convicted for the Durban bombing, and sentenced to death, but later reprieved while on death row. In 1992, he was released after his actions were classified as politically motivated. He was later granted amnesty at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which provided for amnesty in return for complete disclosure of acts of politically motivated violence, after the ANC changed their early denials of involvement to a claim that they ordered the bombing.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa) report stated "It seems that not many, if any, of the victims in this incident were members of the South African Police [the target]. Furthermore, the criticisms directed at the quality of reconnaissance of the "Why Not Bar" might very well be valid. It may be, as was argued, that he ought to have ensured at the relevant time that the primary targets of the attack were present and therefore the concept of the proportionality of the attack and its results must be considered." McBride and others were granted amnesty for the attack, although the commission did find the bombing to be a "gross violation of human rights".

Dianne Kohler Barnard says excision of legal qualification from advert for position, speaks to a pre-determined outcome...

With daily reports of police brutality, the last appointment that should ever have been made is that of the controversial Robert McBride as the Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Today in Parliament the ANC majority in the Police Portfolio Committee supported Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's bizarre nomination of McBride to head up the unit. It is yet another indication that Zuma's ANC is not serious about the fight against corruption or crime. After the disastrous appointments of Jackie Selebi and Bheki Cele, the DA believes the Minister should have chosen differently.

Robert McBride is not the right person for the job.

Firstly, McBride is deeply embedded and loyal to the ANC. The head of IPID must not be linked to any political party in order to investigate police officers, including politically-appointed top brass without fear or favour.

Secondly, the head of IPID needs to be free of controversy, in order to build public trust in his office.

McBride has in the past been involved in numerous scandals:

1. In 1998, McBride was arrested by the Mozambican police on charges of gun running;

2. In 1999, while in the company of underworld bosses at an escort agency, McBride was accused of assault; and

3. In 2011, McBride was convicted of drunken driving and attempting to obstruct justice, and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was acquitted in April last year.

The DA will today write to Minister Mthethwa requesting that he reconsider the appointment of Robert McBride as IPID head. Should he refuse, the DA will write to President Jacob Zuma requesting that he stop the appointment. Should neither the Minister or the President intervene accordingly, the DA will consider pursuing legal action.

The DA is extremely disheartened by this appointment. That the advertisement for the post had the necessity for a legal qualification excised, speaks to a pre-determined outcome as it was seemingly tailored to McBride's CV. Confidence in the IPID is diminishing at a time when it is most crucial due to increases in police brutality. This appointment is even more disturbing when taking into consideration that since the start of January, approximately eight civilians have been allegedly killed by police. IPID is responsible for investigating these incidences and holding police members to account.

Token appointments based on party affiliation, especially in the security services, is not in the best interest of the public. Zuma's ANC has delivered a major blow to the fight against crime, corruption and police brutality. We will not let this go unanswered without a fight.

Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, January 29 2014

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